The 50th Academy Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California on April 3, 1978. The ceremonies were presided over by Bob Hope, who hosted the awards for the nineteenth and last time.
Two of the year's biggest winners were Star Wars, which swept the technical categories by winning 6 out of its 10 nominations and a Special Achievement for Sound Effects Editing, and Annie Hall, winning 4 out of 5 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director. The awards show was also notable for a very politically charged acceptance speech by Vanessa Redgrave.
The Turning Point set the record for the most nominations without a win (11), previously held by Peyton Place and The Little Foxes, which each had 9 nominations with no wins. This record, later tied by The Color Purple, still stands as of 2016.
Annie Hall was the last Best Picture winner to be nominated for just five awards until The Departed 29 years later in 2006.
Jason Robards became the fourth actor to win back-to-back Oscars, following Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.
For the first and only time to date, both Best Actor and Best Actress winners won for roles in two different romantic comedies.
The animated opening sequence, as well as promos for the Awards show, were designed by British graphic designer Harry Marks, who outsourced the animated sequences to Robert Abel and Associates. Marks also designed animated sequences for the top nominated categories, which weren't used for the final telecast.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ().Margaret Booth
Debby Boone's performance of You Light Up My Life was accompanied by schoolgirls described as "affiliated with the John Tracy Clinic for the Deaf" interpreting the lyrics in sign language. After complaints that their signing was incomprehensible, it was revealed the girls were not deaf and had been taught rudimentary signing specifically for the performance. This prompted protests from the Alliance for Deaf Artists.
During the ceremony, Vanessa Redgrave won the Best Supporting Actress award for Julia, and, aware of members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) protesting outside, made the following comments:
Two hours later, when it came his turn to announce the winners for the two Best Screenplay awards, Paddy Chayefsky, perturbed by what he perceived as "cracks about Jews" at the Academy Awards, replied:
The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.
Sammy Davis, Jr. and Marvin Hamlisch performed "Come Light the Candles" in tribute to: